You know the saying: we are what we eat. A balanced diet of healthy and chemical-free food can increase your quality of life. You’re pretty good at eating right and making healthy choices, but is everyone in your family the following suit? What about your dog?
Experts and pet-care professionals agree that a balanced diet is a key to your dog living a long and healthy life, while poor nutrition feeds directly into higher risks for chronic or auto-immune conditions and shorter lifespans. Thankfully, getting your dog the right nutrition is easy with organic food and homemade meals.
A Quick Look Into A Dog’s Diet
A dog is an omnivore, meaning they need more than strictly meat to have a balanced diet. While protein usually makes up a majority of what they eat, vegetables, fruits, and grains are essential to their mental health and development, bone structure, and health of their legs, hips, eyes, and ears.
A well-balanced meal for your dog should contain:
- High-quality protein (meat, seafood, dairy or eggs)
- Fat (meat or oil)
- Carbohydrates (grains or vegetables)
- Calcium (dairy)
- Essential fatty acids (egg yolks or oatmeal)
A balanced diet is 50% cooked protein, 25% produce, and 25% cooked complex carbs. Organic dog food covers all of that in one serving.
What is Organic Dog Food?
Organic dog food means that your dog’s food was grown or raised without artificial or synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or chemicals. It is as natural as natural can get, so there are no unforeseen additives or harsh chemicals in the food bag. A fantastic rule of thumb for dog food is to check the ingredients. If you wouldn’t feed it to yourself or your family, why would you feed it to your dogs?
Organic food can also be dry kibble or wet food.
By law, organic dog food cannot include ingredients which contain any of the following:
- Toxic pesticides
- Artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
- Synthetic growth hormones
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
If you notice any of these on your pet’s food labels, then it’s not organic (even if the bag claims it is).
What Organic Food Should I Feed My Dog?
Every dog is different. Their diet should center around their age, breed, and weight. Before switching your dog’s diet, whether strictly to organic or a mix of the two, always talk with your vet.
A vet can tell you exactly what types of ingredients to look out for and how much to feed your dog. Below, there’s a few of our favorite options for organic dog food:
Best Organic Kibble for Large Dogs
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dog Food
These food organic kibbles are a great choice for dogs weighing over 50lbs. Made in the USA, Diamond Naturals only uses cage-free organic chicken, whole grain brown rice, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Their recipe is specially crafted to benefit large dog breeds without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
This adult dog food formula is also high in glucosamine, which is a nutrient that’s key for joint health, particularly as a dog’s age. The Diamond Naturals come with very detailed food labels so that every pet owner can carefully analyze each ingredient.
Best Organic Canned Dog Foods
Newmans Own Adult Dog Food Organic and Natural (Not 100% Organic)
Although this particular dog food is not 100% organic and natural, we have decided to include it on the organic list for a few reasons. The Newman’s brand donates most of its profits to charity. Its formula meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials guidelines. Also, these canned dog foods are made out of organic chicken.
The Newmans own adult dog food nutrients and vitamins can fit most dog profiles of almost all ages. The order will come with twelve cans of 12.7 ounces each that should last around a week or two. Suitable for busy dog owners who need a healthy fast solution that would not hurt their pooch’s health conditions.
Best Organic Choice for Small Breeds
Merrick Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food For Puppies
For small dogs, Merrick Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food brands have everything your little pup will need. The first five ingredients in their food are listed right on the front of their bag: whole grains, like brown rice and quinoa, deboned chicken, and Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which support healthy skin and coat.
This brand is perfect if your dog has a sensitive stomach as it is easily digestible and has a strong balance of protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin to support your dog’s physical health.
Castor & Pollux - Organics Grain Free Organic Dry Dog Food
This Castor & Pollux is a USDA certified organic dog food for small breeds. For what it takes, this brand has done everything in their hands to provide a grain free organic food for dogs without any artificial preservatives. It contains organic chicken and other vitamins and minerals to provide your pooch with a properly balanced diet.
When buying organic dog food for a small breed, the Castor & Pollux should be an option to consider. This dry food is full of amino acid, fiber, and probiotics to improve your dog’s overall healthy digestive system.
Best Dehydrated Organic Dog Food
The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Food For Dogs
This product can be acquired via a one time purchase or with monthly subscription boxes. It contains a very limited ingredient list that meets the FDA standards, making it very safe to use on dehydrated dogs. We do not recommend using this particular product for overweight dogs.
Most of the ingredients are processed in the US. This brand is very strict about not using any preservatives or non-natural ingredients. Also, it is a high calorie and high protein meal. Great fit for those super active dogs.
Best Organic Dog Treats That Are Organic And Natural
Wet Noses All Natural Dog Treats - USDA Certified Organic
These dog treats are 100% USA made product. The Wet Noses brand has developed a particular banana flavor mixed with a little bit of peanut butter. Besides being a natural USA made product, it contains enough nutrients and vitamins to help your dog complement their regular dog food ingredients.
Make no mistake, these treats are gluten free and could be compatible with most dogs that suffer from allergies. It is made without using any preservatives or additives, which helps your dog’s digestive system. An excellent healthy snack for any pet owner to buy for their pooch.
DIY Organic Food Recipes
Did you know you can try using your hand to make natural dog food yourself? There are plenty of recipes online to help you get started.
Organic food is not table scraps, though! Your pooch is part of your family, but just remember that they can’t eat the same things you can. If any of the homemade recipes look like ones you’ve made your family, take another look.
Most homemade dog food recipes do not include seasonings, salt, and avoid certain foods that are toxic to dogs. For example, a dog should never have avocados, onions, almonds, garlic, and more. And those are just ingredients that are commonly put on meats like chicken, turkey, and beef.
So if you do opt to make your dog meals yourself, do your research first! Learn what is safe for your pup to eat and what isn’t before cooking.
This recipe from Damn Delicious is easy to freeze and store for later, tastes great, and is well balanced to give your dog the nutrients it needs.
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 3 pounds organic ground turkey
- 3 cups organic baby spinach, chopped
- 2 organic carrots, shredded
- 1 organic zucchini, shredded
- 1/2 cup organic peas (canned or frozen)
- Add three entire cups of water and cook rice in a large saucepan
- Shred zucchini and carrots
- Add ground turkey to a large stockpot and cook until browned while making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks
- Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through about 3-5 minutes
- Let cool completely
This homemade recipe could improve your dog’s weight control, and their health of their legs. Additionally, it will start to rebuilt healthier joints, and it stimulates hair growth. You will also notice that the dog leash will start to loosen up within days.
DIY Organic Dog Treats Recipe
If you want to ease yourself and your pup into an organic diet, you can try making this easy and tasty treat for them! These peanut butter and applesauce cookies for dogs from Everyday Dog Mom are fun to make and can last a week in an air-tight container.
Please remember that treats, including biscuits and chews, should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
What you’ll need:
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
- 2 cups quick-cook oats
- 1 cup unsweetened organic peanut butter (smooth or chunky, your choice!)
- 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil or coconut oil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. Try adding can add a 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil or coconut oil if it is crumpy.
- Roll them to about 1/4 inch thick and then cut into shapes with cookie cutters. You can use cookie cutters, or make small dough balls instead.
- Place cookies on a baking sheet, approximately 1/2 inch apart.
- Bake for 25 minutes in the oven or until lightly browned.
- Let cool and then serve.
Why Organic Dog Food is Better?
Organic food is better for your dog for a few reasons, but the main one is that you can actually control what your dog is eating. It is filled with healthy and safe ingredients from farms that don’t use harsh chemicals. They also only have the best cuts of meat. You won’t find byproducts, such as hooves, beaks, or feet, in true organic dog food.
This is great for dogs with fussy stomachs, are prone to indigestion, are allergic to many types of kibble, or have irritable bowels. Organic food, because it is more natural, is far easier for them to digest.
Organic food is also versatile — you can buy it in stores or make it yourself! You can gain control over your dog’s diet and lets you know exactly what you’re feeding them. That means you can cut out those preservatives, cut out allergens, and ensure your dog lives a healthy and long life.
How to Transition to Organic Food
If you are switching your pooch to organic foods, you’re going to want to do it gradually. Dogs are creatures of habit and don’t often like sudden changes to their food. Switching food suddenly can also upset their stomach and lead to your dog throwing up or having diarrhea.
Gradually mix the new food with your dog’s old food over the next 7-10 days. If you opt to go the homemade dog food route, feed them small amounts with their regular kibble and slowly increase the amount of the organic food overtime.
If you do switch to homemade food, we recommend trying out a variety of recipes (instead of sticking to one) to help keep their teeth healthy and strong. Remember, if you only feed your dog soft foods, it can weaken their teeth over time.
A fantastic way to keep their oral health strong is to switch their old treats for organic options or give them bones to chew. Stay away from dry food that has organ meats as a source of protein. You can verify this on the food labels.